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“No dampner this rainy season!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mfuwe Lodge - The Bushcamp Company

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Mfuwe Lodge - The Bushcamp Company
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The Bushcamp Company | PO Box 91, Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“No dampner this rainy season!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

We stayed at Mfuwe Lodge during what they call the "rainy season" - usually a quieter time of year. Well, there may have been less guests around (hurrah!) but there was certainly no shortage of animals to be seen (double hurrah!).
My husband had just bought a new camera and it was perfect weather for clean, crisp photography. The birds are in their breeding plummages - just stunning colours.
We had our 3 children with us and of course, they love seeing all the babies that are around at this time too.
The highlight was of course seeing the fabulous wild dogs. 2 days running our guide, Peter, managed to find them for us.
Guiding - Peter was just brilliant with our kids. He managed to keep everyone in the group very happy.
The food was delicious and we had a huge variety of different meals - all very well thought out.
Snacks and drinks on the drive were provided and we never had to think about anything - all very relaxing.
This lodge is inside the South Luangwa National Park, so on the one drive where one of our children had had enough, we simply took him back to the lodge and the rest of the group carried on with the game drive - all very convenient.
A huge thank you to everyone to giving us another great stay at Mfuwe Lodge!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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389 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
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new york
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

This was our fifth trip to Africa for safari so we have a good base of comparison (kenya/tanz, zimbabwe, south africa and Botswana). We came to South Luangwa in particular to stay at the bush camps owned by the Bushcamp company and do some walking mixed with game drives.

We decided to spend 2 nights at Mfuwe lodge because of the great reviews on TA, reputation for game viewing in the immediate area and the work they do with the local schools as we like to visit schools when possible on our trips. This was despite our concerns about the size of the camp, proximity of the camp to the local town of Mfuwe, and the large number of bigger camps in the area.

In the end our visit to the school was a highlight, but unfortunately all of our other concerns were well founded.

We were picked up from Mfuwe airport with 5 other people in a big van for the approximately 30-45 minute ride to the gates of the park and the lodge. After having my travel agent confirm with the camp prior to departure that we would be able to do a night game drive on arrival we were disappointed that the guide said this wasn't possible. And it wouldn't have been possible to do a night drive anyway in the van. This was our first disappointment of our stay and unfortunately it didn't get better from there. As we made the drive from the park gate to the hotel we could see many vehicles with their spotlights doing drives which made this even more of a letdown.

We received a friendly greeting from the staff and in general we found the management of the camp to be very friendly. Its impressive as this is a larger camp and they are managing a lot of needs and desires.

The rooms are located either on the riverbed (dry this time of year) or on the pumped waterhole. We were on the waterhole watching crocs, hippos and monkeys along with birds galore. The rooms are fairly nicely appointed with comfortable beds. The only slight negative was maybe the heavy metal shutters but we understand they are necessary for the naughty monkeys.

Unfortunately our drives the first day didn't get much better. We were packed into the vehicle with a max of 7 people so 2 people were stuck in the middle. Our guide heard from a researcher that the lions were at a particular watering hole. We went to check it out, did one loop and he determined they were gone. no attempt to track them, just a laugh and then multiple stops to have friendly chats with other guides in other vehicles who had heard from the same researcher which took about 20 mins altogether. In general there was a lack of urgency to find and show us animals.
To his credit, when we followed the crowd of 6 vehicles to see the lions on another drive, he didn't break the rules of the park like several other cars (including bush camp company vehicles) and go off road and drive right up within feet of the lions. On our one night drive when a leopard was spotted the hordes of vehicles swarmed in with some clearly altering the path and behavior of the leopard. Again to his credit our guide expressed his displeasure and we left. But we lost out because we were unwilling to break the rules while others were.

We had scheduled ahead of time for our school visit to be in between drives on our one full day at Mfuwe. We were told that because of the heat we had to go the following morning instead of a game drive. So now 2 of our potential 5 drives at Mfuwe were lost. We were obviously disappointed but given our bad experience on our drives and the school visit being a top priority we went with it. And i'm glad we did

We found the proximity to the town of mfuwe gave it a decidedly less wild feel than some of our other safaris as well as the inevitable crowds this leads to. Giant modified vehicles with 4+ rows packed with every seat taken and as mentioned above some not following park rules. And stories about how the growing problem of lots of people close to an unfenced park create.


Positives as it wasn't all bad:
My wife LOVED her massage at the bush spa

The work Lisa is doing at the school is exceptional, this was the highlight of our stay at Mfuwe. She is making a big difference and you can see in the way the kids greet her that they know the work she is doing and respect her for it. Visiting the school is a MUST do and bring some fun stuff for the kids as we did in your luggage.

There is most definitely a good amount of game here. Lions, leopards and general game. I thought the best game viewing we did was actually in camp looking down at the riverbed with a steady stream of elephants, hippos, giraffe, zebra etc... they even saw leopard at dinner the night before we arrived

The pool at the camp is fantastic and a great break from the heat. You can watch a ton of game right from the pool in the riverbed. This is a big camp with lots of families so you are likely to be sharing the pool with lots of kids, but if this doesn't bother you then its nice.

The buffet style food was plentiful and generally very good.

Overall, if you are traveling with a family or this is your first safari then Mfuwe may work for you. But if you have known safari without packed cars, crowds at sightings, somewhat lackluster guides and a growing city in close proximity to the park leading to human/wildlife conflict you may want to look further afield at the more remote camps in the park. I highly encourage you to visit their bush camps however as most of the issues we experienced at Mfuwe were non issues.

Room Tip: Rooms on the waterhole provide views of hippo, crocs and birdlife. Rooms facing the riverbed have v...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

In the heart of the Luangwa National Park is Mufwe Lodge. It sits on the Luangwa River and most of the guest rooms are on the river edge with a in room porch over looking the river.

When we visited all of our meals were specially prepared for us according to our dietary needs. The meals were simple but filling and tasty.

We were here during the rainy season so the lions and leopards were a bit hard to find. We did manage to see two leopards however no lions. We were able to see all of the other Big Five as well as other game in the park.

The rooms had everything a lodge would need to have. It is a lodge and out in the wilderness so expect bugs and critters. The staff does a great job to prevent these critters but no matter what a bug is going to bug you!

The staff at the lodge were most welcoming and friendly. Special shout out to Steve our safari driver , Lisa who managed our daily meals, and Amy who welcomed us on arrival.

When we are back in the area we look forward to staying at Mufwe Lodge and also trying out the walking safari as well.

Stayed February 2014
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Leon, Spain
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

My recent two-night stay at this lodge was just plain fantastic. I arrived at night so I wasn’t really able to appreciate my surroundings until the next morning. Oh what I was missing! This lodge is just the right amount of elegance and luxury you would expect for its price, set within the beautiful natural backdrop of the South Luangwa national park.
The chalet I stayed in, Rhino, was very comfortable and tastefully decorated with a good size veranda, where the baboons would come and play during the day, and overlooked one of its ponds. There was a large mosquito net over the bed which definitely helped me stay practically bite free during my stay, in rainy season at that.
Mosquito screens on every window, including in the toilet and bathroom really allow you to enjoy your surroundings, not to mention provide ventilation especially needed during the day. Being a solo female traveller, I really liked that my chalet was relatively close to the main building, felt an extra bit safer.
Game drives start early, around 06:30, so expect a morning wake up call around 05:45, and by call I mean an actual person coming to your door, since there are no telephones in the chalets. My guide Steve was fantastic, definitely recommendable, if you can, ask for him, although I’m sure all the guides are good. I think he might have a sixth sense about spotting animals and birds. Thanks to him I was able to see the big four in this park (elephant, buffalo, leopard and lion), several times at that, which coming all the way from South America really made me feel all that traveling was worth it!
Traveling alone by no means meant that I was alone. All the staff here is amazing but some really stood out: Ashleigh and Amy were both extremely helpful and friendly, Abraham was definitely the best of the wait staff and Lisa, this chef’s yummy food was something to look forward to at every meal. Your guide is also with you at mealtimes, which works out well to ask questions and get to know a local person.
Having to follow a very strict gluten free diet, I was quite worried what that would mean during this trip, was prepared to eat fruit and salad, but the food was absolutely amazing! There were delicious gluten free muffins, apple crumble and even pizza. There is no shortage of food, so expect to be overfed!
My only complaint would be the lack of WIFI in the main building. Although I didn’t expect there to be WIFI in the chalets, I did expect it in the main building, even if there was an additional cost, it would have been great to keep in contact with friends and family. There is however a laptop that you can use. But if you need or like to be in constant contact with the outside world I suggest buying a local SIM before heading this way.
This is definitely “The” place to stay in south Luangwa, worthy of every penny spent. My only regret was not being able to stay longer! Can’t wait to return with family and friends.

Room Tip: Do get a relaxing massage at the spa while enjoying the view and sounds from the nearby hippo pond.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

WOW springs to mind when thinking of Mfuwe Lodge.. Where do I start?? This is our third visit to the Lodge and it never disappoints. The meet and greet at the airport is wonderful it makes for a smooth arrival getting visas sorted and baggage collection hassle free. Then upon arrival at the Lodge we were met by the welcoming committee with a refreshing towel and drink. Bags are taken straight to your "home". This visit was spent over Christmas and New Year. Again WOW the staff made everyone's Christmas extra special.. there were carols in the bush with a few of the other lodges Christmas day was amazing Santa delivered presents to everyone and Christmas dinner was awesome. We never expect to see anything in particular and we are never disappointed. We see unusual things and our guide James can explain and answer every question we have and if he doesn't know he makes every effort to find the answer. The animals seem to know we want to see them so they all come out to say hello. We also go out to one of the camps this time it was Kapamba. I think I need one of their baths at my house how relaxing it was to laze around in the bath the size of a big spa after an adventurous safari. We are always made to feel like one of the family and it is very hard to say good bye. Rest assured we will return.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Western Australia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

It was wonderful to return for the third time to Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park. This time to spend Christmas and New Year with our 'family' at Mfuwe - Amy, James, Andy, Ian, Lisa, Shelley, and all the Choir and other staff. We stayed in our 'home' Civet Lodge and enjoyed a very special Christmas and New Year. Following our 'tradition' we found new sightings with James as our guide. We also had Manda guiding us for the first day. AT LAST we saw Wild Dogs. It pays to look at anything - when I asked James to back up a bit as I had seen some very large fungi on a branch high in a tree, took the photo and Di said 'Isn't that a tail there?' After looking carefully James found an 18mth female leopard with a very young Puku kill. Sure enough when looking at my fungi pix there was the leopard looking at me! Looks like we will certainly be returning as James has told us of another interesting full day drive we can go on to find more exciting things. See you perhaps in another 18 months Amy! - nearly forgot - Naldi has organised all three of our trips but is no longer at Bushcamp Company so we look forward to Amy handling our next trip. Thank you all at Bushcamp Company.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elmira, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

Our group of 12 spent a couple of days at Mfuwe Lodge over New Years. It was a memorable visit. The lodge is beautiful. The staff goes all out to make sure your experience is first rate. The food is great as well. All of this in the wonderful South Luangwa National Park. The game drives are enhanced by the very knowledgeable guides. Ours were Peter and Steven and both worked hard to put us in the right place to see the beautiful wildlife. I cannot recommend this lodge enough.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mfuwe Lodge - The Bushcamp Company

Address: The Bushcamp Company | PO Box 91, Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 40 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ease yourself into Luangwa life at The Bushcamp Company's award-winning Mfuwe Lodge; set beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany trees, its thatched buildings are arranged around the banks of two lagoons where an endless stream of wildlife will keep you enthralled as you lounge on the open deck or take a dip in the swimming pool. Located inside the park, in the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa, Mfuwe Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy excellent game viewing, recharge your batteries, or to start and finish your journey to our bushcamps. The lodge has 18 spacious, en-suite thatched chalets with private verandah, plus a spa and curio shop. The lodge offers day and night game drives, plus (upon request) guided walking safaris & cultural visits to the local village, school and textiles market. Located 40 minutes from Mfuwe International Airport (open year round). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mfuwe Lodge - The Bushcamp Company Hotel South Luangwa National Park
Mfuwe Lodge - The Bushcamp Company Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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